PHOENIX - Thieves targeting a pollution control device in cars are terrorizing a Valley nonprofit and they’ve spent thousands of dollars trying to fix up their vans.
The catalytic converter is meant to control emissions, but the price for the precious metals in the converter is at an all-time high and thieves have noticed.
The nonprofit helps seniors with transportation to and from various health services, but it’s tough to do that when this happens.
"We’ve been devastated in the last several months by the frequent occurrence of constant vandalism happening to our vans," says Foundation for Senior Living's Jeffrey Tourdot.
"Over $20,000 damage that has occurred when you roll that all up. We’ve put fences in place, we’ve put cameras in place, and we’ve put alarms on this van," Tourdot said.
Ring video shows the thieves in action, targeting the vans and ignoring their alarms. Ten of the nonprofit's vehicles have needed repairs in the last few months because of these thieves.
"Please think about your grandmother, your mother, your father anyone who’s vulnerable. Think about what you’re saying when you do something like this. That should be enough," Tourdot said.
To put this in perspective, Phoenix Police had about 550 reports of catalytic converter theft from May to December of 2020. In 2021, they’re averaging 250 thefts per month.